CHICKEN INN . . . . . (0) 2
HIGHLANDERS . . . . (0) 2
SUBSTITUTE Pritchard Mpele saved Highlanders from defeat, scoring a minute before full time as the city rivals settled for a draw in a dull match at Barbourfields Stadium yesterday.
Save for the four goals, the match did not live up to its billing as a fiery derby.
Chicken Inn drew first blood in the 49th minute, Marlvin Gaki converting from the spot after Godfrey Makaruse handled inside the box.
Gaki was involved in the second goal, setting up Munashe Pini for Chicken Inn’s second in the 62nd minute.
The midfielder scored a brace last weekend as the GameCocks demolished Bulawayo City 3-0 at BF.
Stanley Ngala scored in the 71st minute for Highlanders, pumping a shot from inside the box after taking advantage of a defensive mix up.
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Bosso did not give up and were rewarded at the death through Mpelele.
“It’s two points dropped for us. You all saw what happened with the Highlanders first goal and it was allowed. We did not mark man-to-man in the box, especially coming from a corner kick. Our reaction was not enough. It was a good second half; the first half was a bit slow. We give Highlanders credit for the fight back,” Chicken Inn coach Joey Antipas said.
His counterpart Baltemar Brito was happy with the draw.
“It was a good entertaining game to watch. It is not easy to come from two-nil down and draw. The boys proved that they have big heart and its possible to turn a score around,” Brito said.
The first half was a dull display from either side until the 35th minute when Highlanders got a free-kick just outside the penalty box after defender Vincent Moyo handled the ball, but the set piece was wasted by Andrew Mbeba.
Chicken Inn also had a chance four minutes later inside the box with Malvin Hwata, but his effort narrowly missed the upright.
But it was Highlanders again in the 41st minute with a Lynoth Chikuhwa header from a Ray Lunga corner-kick which saved by the GameCocks’ shot stopper Donovan Bernard.
Mason Mushore was handed his first start by coach Brito, and did not disappoint, unleashing a thunderbolt on the stroke of half time, but the shot missed the upright with Bernard a beaten man.
Chicken Inn: D Bernard, A Chinda, R Mhlanga, V Moyo, M Gaki, T Kutinyu, C Dzingai, M Whata, I Mabunu, X Ndlovu, M Pini (B Muza, 88’)
Highlanders: A Sibanda, C Ncube, G Makaruse, A Mbeba (P Mpelele, 89’), P Muduhwa, M Mushore, R Lunga, D Mhindirira, L Chikuhwa, R Kutsanzira (W Navaya, 60’), S Ngala